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Morbus Gravis Deluxe Edition

Morbus Gravis Deluxe Edition cover

Limited to 700 copies hardcover edition of the first Druuna’s story, in b/w which reproduces a substantial part of the original black and white illustrations from Morbus Gravis with some original ballon by Serpieri in Italian. Introduction in English.

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As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.

Morbus Gravis Deluxe Edition interior 1
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Morbus Gravis Deluxe Edition interior 3
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Morbus Gravis Deluxe Edition interior 5

This is my first experience with the publisher Lo Scarabeo and with Paolo Serpieri’s original art, and it’s a great success. An introduction in four languages, two published covers and then 62 pages of art.

The art appears in three different qualities. Original inked pages (50) for the bulk of the books, then copies of original inked pages (5), and cleaned enlargements of published pages (7).

The scans are all clear with no softness or blur. Inks show gradients. No margin notes, but it appears margins weren’t included in the printed scans. No correction fluid or paste-ups. All dialogue boxes show rough pencilled Italian. There’s something about the inks over the pencils I can’t put my finger on: they appear diluted, or Serpieri applied them with a very light touch.

Morbus Gravis Deluxe Edition interior 6
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Morbus Gravis Deluxe Edition interior 9

The design is straightforward: a single colour working through the front material. Original book title and page number along the bottom of the art pages. Textured printed cover. Glossy pages.

Production is excellent. Sewn binding of a medium thickness glossy paper. I don’t mind the glossy paper but it doesn’t enhance or detract from the original art. Plus it gives some glare in my photos. The book comes shrink-wrapped.

The solicitation and the back of the book say this is a limited edition of 700 copies, but the numbered page says 650 numbered copies and 10 additional for contributors making a total of 660.

Morbus Gravis Deluxe Edition interior 10
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The coloured page in the introduction looks amazing and makes me want to see more scans of coloured pages, from this material and others.

With nothing to go from other than that very small Previews solicitation, I preordered this anyway. A chance to see Serpieri’s original art made the risk worth it. There were some odd events occurring with this book’s solicitation and available dates. Solicited for mid-March, then showing ship date as January 15 and then my local comic shop getting my copy late March.

It looks like there aren’t any copies left for reorders, so if you want one Forbidden Planet seems to be the only online option.


By Scott VanderPloeg

Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at Comic Book Daily and eBabble. Modest art collection at Comic Art Fans.